You are hereNew Orleans Times-Picayune: Picture of suspects in St. John Parish shootings starting to emerge

New Orleans Times-Picayune: Picture of suspects in St. John Parish shootings starting to emerge

-By Gordon Russell

August 17, 2012- A grainy picture is starting to emerge of the suspects involved in the shootings Thursday morning that claimed the lives of two St. John Parish sheriff's deputies and injured two others. Five of them had apparently been under surveillance in DeSoto Parish in north Louisiana two months ago, and at least one of them was considered a fugitive in Nebraska and Kansas for "making terroristic threats" as well as allegedly selling marijuana.

Authorities believe that suspect, Kyle Joekel, 29, may have ties to anti-government groups, in particular a loose organization known as Posse Comitatus that generally doesn't recognize authority above the level of county sheriff. The name of the group means "power of the county" in Latin, according to the Anti-Defamation League's website.

Group members refuse to recognize various aspects of federal authority, and some refuse to pay taxes. The group has been associated with citizen militias as well as neo-Nazi organizations.

Lt. Robert Davidson of the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's office told The Shreveport Times that the suspects in custody include Kyle Joekel, Brian Smith, Terry Smith, 44, and Derrick Smith, 22. Terry Smith is the father of both Derrick and Brian Smith, according to Davidson, who identified. Brian Smith and Joekel as the shooters in the incident. Davidson said he did not know the name of the other suspects.

Authorities this morning confirmed the four suspects named by Davidson, plus two women: Chanel Skains, 37, and Teniecha Bright, 21.



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